Wiltshire Olympic and Paralympic legacy ‘one year on’ Friday 26th July will be the first anniversary of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic legacy. Steve Boocock CEO of Wiltshire and Swindon Sport said “The Games put sport in the spotlight as never before and has given us all a great opportunity to excite people about grassroots sport in Wiltshire and Swindon”. Figures from Sport England show that we are the first host nation to have significantly increased the number of people playing sport. 15.3 million women and men are playing sport at least once a week, 1.4 million more than in 2005 when we won the Olympic bid. The strongest growth has come in the 18 months since October 2011, with an increase of more than half a million. The number of young people playing every week has reached 3.86 million – up 63,000 over 12 months and 93,000 over 18 months The number of women and disabled people playing sport regularly has continued to rise over the past year. “Backed by Sport England’s lottery investment, we’re playing a big part in delivering the legacy locally. Sportivate aims to give 14- to 25-year-olds who currently aren’t playing sport in their own time the chance to find a sport they like” said Steve Boocock. “Sportivate has inspired 2000 young people from our county to get involved in sport in their own time and find an activity they want to stick with.” North/West Wilts: The Lawn Tennis Association have been targeted with "growing the game" and working with new audiences. As a result, Sportivate tennis projects have ran in both Trowbridge and Chippenham College. The participants have worked with a qualified tennis coach, experienced traditional tennis coaching as well as modified versions of the game including cardio tennis and touch tennis. Trowbridge and Chippenham projects have engaged 54 young people. Trowbridge: Sportivate funding was used to set up an archery club in Trowbridge at John of Gaunt School. Sportivate funding has allowed former British Champion & Archery GB Coach Gloria Mead to deliver 2 x 6 week blocks. The project has attracted participants from the age of 10-64 and as a result, 34 participants have become members. Devizes: Devizes Canoe Club are passionate about canoeing and are fully aware of the personal and physical development young people can benefit from being out on the water. Devizes Canoe club have used Sportivate funding to enable the club to be able to teach beginners how to canoe. Over the next couple of years the club hopes to deliver multiple projects and in a recent a 6-week beginners course into canoeing, 15 participants were engaged within the project and 13 attended a minimum of 5/6 sessions.
Salisbury: Salisbury College has benefitted from the recent appointment of Debbie Hill one of two college sport makers who have been recruited to help engage more college students in sport. After consultation with students, Debbie identified a small group of students who would be interested in participating in dance. As a result Sportivate funding was applied for and approved and 6 students at Salisbury College were able to start exercising through dance. Swindon: Leanne Harding delivered a mix-martial arts Sportivate project at Toothill Community Centre in Swindon. The project engaged and retained 12 participants ranging from 14-22 years old. The project helped develop fitness, introduced a range of mix-martial arts techniques and also focused on the values of respect that are associated with mixed-martial arts as well. School Games: Another local legacy project from the 2012 Games has been the School Games. WASP have been co-ordinating the delivery both of the Wiltshire and the Swindon School Games which has given thousands of young people and schools fresh opportunities to play competitive sport in 16 sports. During 2012 Sport England’s, Inspired Facilities and Protecting Playing Fields and small grants legacy programmes have also supported local sport. “We have seen £895,000 invested to improve 26 sports clubs, facilities and playing fields across the county. This investment will continue and I hope more sports clubs will make the most of this opportunity” More information on the range of Olympic and Paralympic legacy opportunities available locally can be found at www.wiltssport.org
Wiltshire and Swindon Sport is the County Sport Partnership for the County. Supported through Sport England Lottery programme it provides a range of services and opportunities to the local sports community. Research on sports participation is undertaken through the Sport England Active People survey. Wiltshire and Swindon Sport can be contacted on 01380 725111 or Kirsty@wiltssport.org